Dubrovnik, 15-16 October 2015
Fire engineering is exciting! As was the atmosphere in Dubrovnik, where fire safety engineers from all over the world gathered for two days to present and discuss research results on structures in fire.
The enchanting Croatian city was chosen to host the 4th International Conference on Applications for Structural Fire Engineering (#ASFE15), organised by the Faculty of Civil Engineering of the University of Zagreb and the Czech Technical University in Prague. The event was proudly supported by Fire Safe Europe.
The conference focused on the application of advanced fire-resistant design methods for structures made of various building materials. Some of the major themes were fire modelling, simulation of the heat transfer between fire and structure, and modelling of structural behaviour at elevated temperatures using numerical methods or software implementations of the structural Eurocodes. Furthermore, the experts discussed about the synergy of energy efficiency and fire safety of buildings.
During the opening ceremony, Juliette Albiac, Managing Director of Fire Safe Europe, encouraged the scientific community to consider not only the structure of the buildings but also how different construction products interact and influence fire development. She also asked participants to support FSEU’s project to bridge the fire information gap in the EU by sharing fire cases and fire news they are aware of.
Professor Ian W. Burgess, from the University of Sheffield, welcomed ASFE’15 as a further step within a greater scheme for the development of structural fire engineering, a discipline which started small but has been constantly growing in importance during the last 15 years.
Participants appreciated how the conference served as an opportunity for the scientific community and companies to share knowledge from studies carried out all around the world and to find inspiration for further research.
Talking about the future of the discipline, Professor Jean-Marc Franssen from the University of Liége said that major research trends would probably focus on simulation during the cooling phase, new materials and construction systems, probabilistic aspects, CFD-FE interaction and local fire models.
An interesting interdisciplinary perspective was brought in by psychologist Miljenko Antić, who shed a light on human behaviour in fire emergencies. Evacuation measures and fire safety rules are very much based on analysis and prediction of materials behaviour in fire, said Antić, while the human behaviour component is also crucial, as well as less predictable and not always in line with structure designers’ expectations.
“I am very satisfied with the conference, which starred distinguished keynote speakers and participants from all EU countries and beyond” said Miodrag Drakulic, ASFE’15 Chairman. “We are now trying to extend the domain of structural fire engineering, moving to a wider approach which explores the connection between active and passive fire protection measures”.